Saturday, July 21, 3 pm, at Schlossplatz square in Bad Rodach: There’s a lot of hustle and bustle here, with stands being set up and tables and chairs being moved, and there’s an enticing aroma in the air. Bad Rodach is preparing to celebrate the Day of Europeans for the 17th time. And six members of the HABA Design Department are also busy preparing something really special for the young visitors to the event: “As a team of creative minds, we want to do something creative with children today, to bring them together and let their imaginations run free,” explains Ines Frömelt, Head of the Design and Product Development Team.
A little later the square fills with visitors. A colorful stage program with dancing and music is on offer, and there are lots of culinary treats to discover from different European countries.
But the HABA Designers have hardly any time to explore the festival themselves, as they’ve got lots to do: together with the many children who have come to Schlossplatz with their families, they are creating a colorful City of Europeans. The team has prepared well for this: they collected natural materials, organized work utensils and small aprons for the children, gathered up leftover material from Production, and provided a large wooden plate with a first design of the City of Europeans. This gives the little architects a sturdy foundation for their own models. A large bag with Wehrfritz handicraft materials offers everything else they need to inspire the imagination, so they can create a colorful world in no time at all.
30 children between the ages of three and twelve are cutting, gluing, sawing, and painting together this afternoon to create a European city based entirely on their dreams and wishes. Not all children are from Bad Rodach; they have very different roots, not only from Europe, but from all over the world. There are no language barriers among the little master builders, landscape gardeners, and urban planners; if necessary, they communicate using gestures.
In the background you can hear Scottish bagpipers and Greek popular music, and a vigorous “Schuhplattler” folk dance is being performed. Meanwhile, many brightly colored houses are being built at the HABA pavilion, which are placed next to a large tower in the “city center”. A river, navigated by small colorful boats, meanders through the ever-growing city. In addition to the newly built parking garage, there is now also a landing site from which a small helicopter can take off into the whole world.
“We are very happy that the children are so passionate about working on a joint project!”
All this is built in a very short time, because the children, their parents, and also the HABA Designers are extremely keen. “I want to build a house like this!” you can hear from one corner. “I’m sticking colorful stones on my roof,” comes from the other side. There are certainly plenty of materials and ideas for the City of Europeans. “We are very happy that the children are so passionate about working on a joint project. Nobody wants to do anything just for themselves!” says Ines. It’s almost nine o’clock and getting dark when the last child is happy to put away the glue stick and the urban planners of the HABA Family of Companies can pack up.
For anyone who is curious about the great result, the finished City of Europeans can be admired for a short time in the entrance area of the main building of the HABA Family of Companies.